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I need help please?
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Yusur posted:
I'm a 19 year old girl, I work out a lot and I'm very dedicated. My problem is that 4 year ago I was overweight, and I started dieting about 2 years ago I lost pretty much all the weight that I needed to lose, I weight about 117-120 pounds right now, my height 5'2, size 4 my bmi is about 22. The problem is that I had been crash dieting and and I became addicted to working out since harsh dieting itself was not enough. I started this whole intense working out and diet obsession last year, as a result my hormones got all over the place and I had to take birth control to regulate them for a while, things went back to normal and so did my diet and it lasted for a long while. (Except for the hair loss, I had that as a side effect and it still exists! It really scares me. :-( ). When this year started, my diet was realistic, I worked out for about 3 hours five times a week, I lost fat and gained muscle, I felt healthy and everything went fine. Until this summer when I got obsessed with having six pack (I only have two!) and I went back to the yo-yo dieting and intense working out. I spend the past two months running 5 miles everyday and eating about 1200-1500 a day, I lost five pounds but I ended up hurting myself. And now I'm left with my a strain on my left knee, and my right knee being over-trained from weight training. I was told not to exercise as long as it takes for my knee to heal, it's been three weeks and I haven't exercised my legs at all (It did get better, but I can't run, jog or even walk on it for long distance right now, it takes time), I do upper body weight training every once in a while now but there is not much movement involved, I gained all the weight that I lost this summer and more (I went down to 110, now I'm about 120 or so but it's not stabilized for some reason, I'm not eating that much, but my metabolism was terribly low, and now I'm just eating regularly, maybe a little bit more sometimes). Now with my intense desire to lose fat and gain muscle, my energy not going anywhere, my dreams just falling apart and my health, I'm more depressed than ever, I know it takes time for my leg to completely heel (I got way much better in the past three weeks so that's good), I just have to be patient. But the reason I'm stressed out is that if I can ever be successful in my diet and workout plan. I know this sounds crazy, I'm a smart girl, I read a lot and I'm studying medicine (I'm in love with nutrition and psychology) but my body is really what matters most to me (Maybe even more than my health?), people tell me that I look fine and fit, but I think I've got a long way to get there. I wish I can become like Jillian Michaels for example (Healthy AND fit/attractive at the same time) and despite my hard work, dedication, etc it just looks like I can't get there. :-( What upsets me the most is the fact that I work more than the majority of people that I know, and yet I just can't get anywhere! I wish there is any way anybody would personally show me how to do that, I'm willing to learn and change, I'm not lazy, I'm open-open and I'm willing to do anything to get my health AND my looks! My plan for now is to swim a little bit and do some light weight training for upper body, then couple weeks later I start light walking, then jogging and eventually make it back to running. (Hopefully by then I will be able to do both upper body and lower body weight training, I will be careful though), do you think that's what I should do? My diet will be reasonable and realistic but I really need your help on how to plan things out.
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Tomato05 responded:
Because you may tend to do things to the extreme (dieting, exercise etc) it could be a good idea to set limits for yourself.

For example: find the number of calories you need to maintain your weight (eg 1800 cal; there are calculators online) and stick to that number every day. Make sure the food you eat is nutritious and healthy, based around 3 meals and two snacks if you prefer.

As for exercise, also set a limit. Once your knee is better, stick to a routine of for example 30 - 40 min. of cardio 5 times a week, plus 2 or 3 weight training sessions a week, maybe 30 min. each. You could also vary your types of cardio exercise to prevent injuries/repetitive strains - not only running, but also walking or swimming, elliptical or cycling.

That way you won't be risking overexercising (and injuries or burnout) or undereating.
 
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Rich Weil, MEd, CDE responded:
You're on the right track with weight training. It will:

1) Build muscle, a goal of yours
2) It will keep your metabolism up, a goal of yours
3) Muscle burns fat, a goal of yours
4) It is movement, (a goal of yours) and you can always do circuit training for more movement
5) You will get strong, a goal of yours
6) It will shape your physique, a goal of yours

You can do all upper body lifting until your leg heals. It will heal and it sounds like it is already gtting better. Maybe it's a warning that you need to pace yourself and not burn out or overtrain in the future so you don't injure yourself.

Of course, what is of grave concern is your intense obsession with your weight and your body and eating. You said that your energy is not going anywhere, your dreams are falling apart, and you're more depressed than ever. These are very serious comments, and they need to be attended to. If you're not currently speaking with a counselor then I strongly encourage you to do so. If you're in college you can seek that out at a student health center. At home you can contact your local mental health center. There is a tremendous resource community here at WebMD and I encourage you to visit it today. It's here http://exchanges.webmd.com/eating-disorders-exchange

You deserve to feel good about yourself. You're just 19 years old and it's not fair to be so hard on yourself. Get the help you rightfully deserve. It's a good idea to do it now before it gets more difficult for you. Go ahead and ask for help on the eating disorder board today. They will know how to help.

Good luck, and take care of yourself.


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